Skrill has been around for much longer than many people realize. The company was founded in 2001 under the name Moneybookers and has evolved to offer a range of financial services. Skrill’s personal accounts are just one of the platforms it offers, and this review will touch on some of the other services that Skrill has developed as well.
At its center, Skrill was originally a kind of digital payments platform much like PayPal. It was founded a few years after PayPal and has never been able to capture the same amount of market share. It also tends to be a little bit more expensive than other platforms that offer similar services, so it is a good idea to understand all the charges involved with Skrill before you fund an account.
According to Skrill, they have millions of customers, as well as more than 100,000 merchants that use the platform for merchant accounts. The company also has an international money transfer platform that is easier to use than Skrill for sending money overseas and a digital wallet for select countries.
Skrill Offers Many Platforms
Before you decide to sign up for a Skrill personal account, it is a good idea to understand all the platforms that Skrill has to choose from. Unlike some platforms that allow users to take advantage of the lowest rates for a given transaction, you have to be smart about how you use Skrill’s various platforms.
For example, if you want to send money to someone in another country, using a Skrill account will cost a lot more than using Skrill Money Transfer. The amount that Skrill charges varies based on the locations of the sending and receiving party, but the difference between Skrill and Skrill Money Transfer it will probably be in excess of 5%.
The same thing is more or less true for other transactions within Skrill’s personal account. While it is free to receive money with Skrill, it will cost you time and money to deposit that money into your bank account or spend it via Skrill’s platform.
Skrill does offer interesting options for online financial services, but you will have to plan out what you would like to do with its suite of platforms. Some may make sense depending on what you want to do, while others will be inferior to other options that may be cheaper and easier to use.
How To: Open a Skrill Account
The account opening process with Skrill is very straightforward. An account with Skrill will allow you to receive money for free, and spend it at numerous online merchants, as well as send it to other Skrill users, or withdraw it to your bank account.
Just go to the Skrill homepage, and then click on the ‘Register’ button. It is on the top, right-hand side of the screen.
You will then be sent to a form that asks for your full name, street address, email account, and also for you to create a strong new password for the Skrill account. Make sure to use a good password, as your money will be at risk if the password is compromised.
After you enter all your personal data, just click ‘Register Now’.
Once you click through, Skrill will ask you for your country of residence, as well as the preferred account currency. It is a very good idea to choose your nation’s home currency, and avoid any extra currency conversion charges.
The next page will ask you to enter information about the payment methods that you will use with your Skrill account. Based on the payment methods that are entered, you will be asked to supply more information about yourself.
That is basically it, and your Skrill account is no open.
You may have noticed that there hasn’t been any ID verification up to this point. Skrill has a multi-tiered system that allows smaller amounts of money to be held and transferred without ID verification. More on that below.
Congratulations, you have a Skrill account!
Skrill Personal Account – Services and More
A Skrill account gives you numerous options. The most basic feature of a Skrill account is sending and receiving money. Depending on where you send money with Skrill, fees will be applied. If the person you are sending money to has an account with a different currency, the fees will rise.
Users won’t be able to send cryptos with a Skrill account, but if the price of the cryptos rise or fall, the changes will be reflected in the account. Skrill users can buy and sell cryptos at any time within their account and will pay a fee of between 1.5% and 3% depending on the account’s currency.
In order to realize all the account features, it is a good idea to go through the ID verification process.
Skrill will ask you for government ID, as well as proof of address. The kinds of ID and proof of address vary based on a client’s location, but the Skrill account verification process is in-line with current KYC regulations.
Skrill Account Features
- Skrill Prepaid Debit Card Skrill users can opt to buy a Skrill pre-paid debit card for 10 euros, which is charged every year. The card if issued by MasterCard, and is directly connected to a Skrill account. It offers free in-store purchases, and also allows Skrill users to withdraw money from ATMs, for a fee of 1.75%. The fee is fixed no matter where the ATM is located.
- Skrill Payments A Skrill account allows Skrill users to make payments to any person or company that accepts Skrill as a payment method. Skrill charges 1.45% to make payments and also charges extra if the person or company that is being paid has a different account currency than the sender. Payments are instant.
- International Money Transfer (Not the same as Skrill Money Transfer) When a Skrill client sends money internationally, the prices rise. In addition to the 1.45% sending fee, Skrill adds 3.99% to the mid-market FOREX rate between the two currencies. In some cases, this may add up to 5% or more, which is sort of expensive given the other options people have for sending money internationally (discussed below).
Deposit and Withdrawal from Skrill Account
Skrill charges its clients to both deposit and withdraw money from their Skrill accounts. If you want to deposit money into your Skrill account, it will cost you 1% of the amount you deposit, in addition to any sending fees that your bank or credit card provider charges.
Skrill accepts the following methods of deposit:
Skrill also charges a fee to withdraw money from your Skrill account. You will have to pay the equivalent of 5.50 euros when you withdraw money from your Skrill account. If you plan to withdraw money to a credit or debit card, the fee rises to 7.5% of the transaction amount.
The fees that Skrill charges are fairly high, and may be prohibitive for anyone who needs to move a large amount of money.
It is very important to plan out how you intend to use a Skrill account, and see if the platform makes sense for you. There are many other options out there, and depending on what you plan to do, Skrill may or may not be the best option in the marketplace.
Skrill Merchant Accounts
Skrill also offers options for merchants that want to accept credit and debit cards online. The fees that Skrill charges for its merchant accounts are on the high side, but it could make sense for your business depending on what you are doing.
Rates for Skrill merchant accounts depend on the sales volume of a business. For a business that makes $3,000 per month the sales are charged at 2.90%, in addition to a flat charge of $0.29. If a business moves up to $3,000 to $10,000, the rate drops to 2.80%, plus $0.29 per sale.
If a business graduates to the $10,000 to $100,000 bracket, the rate falls to 2.70% per sale, plus the $0.29 fee. The last bracket is $100,000 per month and above, which are charged at 2.60% plus $0.29. Refunds cost a business $0.49, and chargebacks cost $20 with Skrill merchant accounts.
Skrill started off as a platform that mostly dealt with online gaming sites, but it has evolved into a far more mainstream payments gateway. This isn’t necessarily good news for merchants, as there numerous complaints that allege that Skrill can be difficult to deal with, and will freeze merchant accounts with little transparency.
Regardless of the potential for snags, Skrill does offer a solid payments solution for merchants. It allows merchants to process payments in a variety of ways, and does have rates that fall in-line with the wider payments industry.
Skrill Money Transfer
Skrill Money Transfer is a way for people to send money from a bank account, credit or debit card to bank accounts in other countries. You don’t need to have an existing Skrill account to use Skrill Money Transfer, and it is a far cheaper way to send money abroad than the regular Skrill platform.
There are basically no fees to send money with Skrill Money Transfer, and the service can deliver cash into a bank account the same day it is sent. Depending on the location the money is going and the sending method, the funds can take up to 5 days to be delivered.
If you are in one of these countries, you can send money with Skrill Money Transfer
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Canada, Switzerland, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Hong Kong, Croatia, Hungary, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Morocco, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
The following countries can receive money from Skrill Money Transfers
Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India (India to India transfers aren’t allowed), Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nepal, Netherlands, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Philippines, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom.
Skrill Money Transfer gets consistently good reviews and is a super low-cost option for making international money transfers. It is easy to use and is regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK as well as the U.S. Department of Treasure’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), among other global regulators.
How does Skrill Stack Up to the Competition?
There is no doubt that Skrill has loads of options, and offers numerous services. It is hardly alone in the digital payments space, and there are other platforms and options out there.
Skrill v. PayPal
Skrill’s biggest competitor is PayPal, which is a larger platform that offers some clear advantages. The only area where Skrill pulls ahead of PayPal is costs to receive payments, as Skrill doesn’t charge anything to receive funds. Otherwise, PayPal is probably going to be a cheaper option for just about any online financial service.
For example, if you decide to transfer money into your Skrill account, and then want to return it to your bank account, you will lose money in fees for both operations. In most countries, PayPal is free to load from a bank account, and withdrawals are charged a flat rate, or free.
PayPal is also supported by more merchants than Skrill and has a much larger user base. Skrill was able to compete with PayPal in its early days because it was able to offer payment solutions for businesses that PayPal wouldn’t support, and that has continued to help Skrill to maintain its business.
Skrill v. Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies present an emerging challenge for Skrill.
Skrill has been able to compete with PayPal because it has wider standards for who it will deal with, but cryptos will allow anyone to make payments to just about anyone, with near-zero oversight. Clearly, this is a big plus for merchants who have ‘high-risk’ merchant accounts, and don’t want to deal with a payments processor who can lock up their funds on a whim.
Cryptocurrencies also allow everyone involved in a transaction to own their assets outright, which is another big advantage. One of the problems that cryptos have faced is the lack of interchangeability between fiat and crypto, but that is changing.
Skrill isn’t the only platform that is being pressured by cryptos. PayPal is another potential loser, and the SWIFT system is also under threat. Cryptocurrencies are faster, cheaper and don’t have any kind of central clearing authority to get in the way of a transaction. There is also no problem with international transfers, as cryptos exist in a superposition to the fiat system.
Skrill v. Other Merchant Accounts
Merchant accounts are one area where Skrill faces stiff competition. There are tens, if not hundreds of merchant payment processors out there (depending on the country). If you have a high-risk business, there is probably a better choice than Skrill.
High-risk businesses should deal with a payment processor who knows the industry and won’t lock up merchant funds. Skrill’s fee structure is on the high side for a regular online business, which puts Skrill in an odd position. It may make sense for your business, but do some additional research before you pull the trigger on a Skrill merchant account.
Is Skrill the Right Platform for You?
Skrill offers its clients a range of financial services and is an easy to use payments platform. The features that stand out is the fact that Skrill doesn’t charge its clients to receive money, and that it offers an inexpensive option for a debit card.
The fee structure that Skrill uses can be complex and may end up costing its users if they don’t fully understand how it works. Sending money internationally with a Skrill account isn’t cheap. There are certainly better options out there, with Skrill Money Transfer being one of them.
If you are interested in Skrill, it is easy to sign up for an account and try it out. For a regular online business, its fees are reasonable, and it is a well-developed platform. The ability to ‘buy’ cryptos from your Skrill account is nice and could be a good way to speculate on the value of the major cryptos.
Skrill is certainly a contender for anyone who needs to do online payments or receive money. It is easy to connect a bank account to your Skrill account and move funds between the online environment and the fiat banking system. Overall, Skrill presents compelling payment options and could be a good fit for many people.
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